Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons launches ‘Time for Art’ during this year’s Dubai Watch Week
Dubai Watch Week, in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons teams up with Christie’s auction house and pioneering Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al-Rais to launch a new initiative
Following its successful debut in 2015, the region’s most anticipated horology event, Dubai Watch Week, returns for a second time under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Organized by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the second edition of the event will take place across two locations with an intensive program agenda for 2016.
Dubai Watch Week has education at the heart of its platform, through workshops, discussions, and mentorship opportunities that engage both existing and emerging members of the watch community in topics of both historical and contemporary significance.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will play host to the event once again, with the return of the very popular Watchmaking Master Class and the Horology Forum in addition to new programs that include the Horological Movement and the GPHG winning watches exhibition, and a new initiative called the Creative Hub– a platform that will foster creativity and showcase innovation and will be hosted by various brands.
The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) in partnership with Dubai Watch Week will be curating three exclusive programs in The Dubai Mall – Mastery of Time exhibition and HH Academy & Certification and the 24 Hours in the Life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock exhibition will be curated by HEAD Genève.
As part of its continues support of the creativity and philanthropic initiatives, Dubai Watch Week presents a new addition to this year’s cultural itinerary with “Time for Art”, an initiative led by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
“Our continued objective is to spread the cultural awareness of horology in the Middle East and to share a piece of our heritage with the world. This year is no different as we expand our repertoire to include different forms of cultural expression from watchmaking and educational discussions to art collaborations in order to continue supporting a cause we feel passionately about,” says Melika Yazdjerdi, Director of Dubai Watch Week.
Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons commissioned UAE’s top Emirati artist, Abdul Qader Al-Rais to create two very rare and special pieces in honour of the second edition of Dubai Watch Week. The pieces will be auctioned during Christie’s Dubai’s Modern and Contemporary art sale on the 18th of October 2016 and the proceeds will be donated to Noor Dubai foundation in order to fund the research and support the prevention of visual impairment.
“We stand to support the cultural scene in the Middle East and have seen tremendous development in the art world over the past 10 years. However, being able to support our mission through philanthropy is something that is truly close to our values and something that we endeavour to drive globally. We are honoured for the opportunity to return and collaborate with Dubai Watch Week again, to share our passion for the oldest form of expression, linking it with the measure of time,” says Michael Jeha, Deputy-Chairman of Christie’s Middle East.
“We would like to thank Abdul Qader al Rais, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, and Dubai Watch Week for supporting our efforts. Noor Dubai Foundation provides medical, education and training services for blindness prevention and treatment in nations recognized as countries of need by the World Health Organization and since the inception of the foundation in 2008, we have reached out to 24 million people globally. Most of the camps have been organized in countries in the Asian and African continent that are in most need of these services.” Says Dr Manal Taryam, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member Noor Dubai.
The first of the artist Abdul Qader Al-Rai’s commissioned works is Zaman: ‘TIME’ A View from the First Ahmad Siddiqi and Sons Shop, Deira, Dubai, where the artist pays homage to the Seddiqi family’s first watch shop in Souk Bur Dubai, which opened in the late 1940s. Incorporating the spare parts of various timepieces taken from the Seddiqi atelier, the artist juxtaposes the softness of his watercolour technique with three-dimensional elements for the very first time. Welcoming this new addition to his canvases, the artist uses concepts of recycling and collage to accentuate the intricacy of these various watch elements. The original boutique of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, fascinatingly, has sentimental value for the artist. As the place where he purchased the first gift which he gave to his wife on their wedding day, it is undoubted that the artist laces his canvases with a profound sense of nostalgia.
The second, Zaman: Saa’a Ramliya: (‘TIME’ Hour Glass) also transcends the notion of time. An hourglass, presented in shades of blue and yellow honour the power of time and memory. Its rich hues exuding a powerful reference to the sand, desert and sea through which Dubai has grown and thrived over the past many decades. Al-Rais has crafted two beautiful compositions which celebrate the passage of time and its changes. Consequently, as a befitting partnership, time has played a vital role in the development of both of the creative powerhouses of the artist and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
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Atom Moore is a professional photographer who specializes in watch photography. He is the resident photographer for the Red Bar Crew in NYC and the man behind the camera at analog/shift.
Jan Tegler is a writer/author with his work appearing in a variety of international publications on subjects ranging from military affairs and aviation to business and finance, motorsports, wristwatches and automotive reviews.
Nancy Olson has been writing about watches, jewelry and writing instruments for the last twenty years and has contributed to a variety of international magazines on these topics. She has a particular interest and expertise in women and mechanical watches.
Angus Davies is a self-confessed horological addict with his passion leading him to the launch of his own website, Escapement. He now regularly writes articles for other websites and magazines.